Alan Sargeant – Member No.1

Banbury Camera Club are saddened by the recent death of member Alan Sargeant. As treasurer he issued Camera Club membership cards and as he always paid his dues first, he had “Member No.1” on his card.

Tribute to Alan Sargeant
Click This Page. It is linked to a text file for easy reading
Alan Sargeant’s Video recalling his first job.

Tribute to Alan Sargeant by Andrew Spackman

On 2 August 2001, as Secretary of Banbury Camera Club, I received an email.

“Dear Mr. Spackman, I picked up a leaflet in Jessops the other day and I would like to join the club. I notice that the next meeting is at Great Bourton village hall. Are the numbers limited or can I turn up, attend the lecture and ask you for a membership form? Yours sincerely, Alan Sargeant.”

I am sure I appreciated the rather old fashioned courtesy in this email and my reply finished “I look forward to meeting you on Monday” Little did I know then just how delighted I would be to make Alan’s acquaintance and what an amazing contribution he would make to the club over the next twenty years.

Two things sum Alan up. When help was needed he was the first to volunteer. And when there was a problem he would say with justified confidence, “We can fix that!” – meaning that he would fix that. And so it was Alan who volunteered to be Treasurer and did a superb job. Every Tuesday morning he would count up all the cash from the Monday meeting, then take the coins down to the local butcher to exchange for bank notes. When John Childs offered the club the use of The Heseltine Gallery, it was Alan who designed the layout which we use to this day, still following his instructions and using some of the kit he assembled for the task.

Another of Alan’s big contributions was the club’s Images of Banbury project. From a former member we were offered the colour slides from an earlier club project to record the changing face of Banbury in the 1960s. Who might take this on? Alan, of course. And he scanned all the slides, obtained further collections of historic photos and encouraged members to update the visual record of Banbury. Alan assembled these into a series of presentations which he took to numerous venues.

Alan’s love of the countryside around Banbury and the history of the town is reflected in the
three of his photos displayed on panels at the 2021 exhibition.

Andrew Spackman